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The Center for the Study of Islam Democracy

Conference Abstracts & Final Papers

Welcoming Addresses
Radwan Masmoudi, CSID President [Bio]
Asma Afsaruddin, CSID Chair [Bio]

Keynote Addresses

Andrew S. Natsios, United States Agency for International Development
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Anwar Ibrahim (Muslim Democrat of the Year Award)
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Gretchen Birkle, State Dept (Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Lorne Craner, International Republican Institute
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, American University of Cairo
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Carl Gershman, National Endowment for Democracy
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Anisa Mehdi, Whetstone Productions, NJ
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

S. Abdallah Schleifer, American University of Cairo
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Session 1: Internal Resources and their Relevance
Chair: Louis Cantori
[Bio]

“Islam, Development, and the Social Construction of Religion”
Robert F. Shedinger, Luther College, IA
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Reconciling Secular Government with Islamic Law”
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Minaret of Freedom Institute, MD
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Is Secularism a Prerequisite or a Result of Democracy?
Islamists at the End of History”
Shadi A. Hamid, Fulbright Fellow: Amman, Jordan
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Islam and Civil Society in Indonesia”
Robin Bush, the Asia Foundation, Indonesia
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Session 2: Paradigms for Economic Development
Chair: Robert Schadler
[Bio]

“Barriers to Economic Development in the Arab World”
Paul Sullivan, National Defense University, DC
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Military Expenditure and Economic Development in the Middle East”
Sofia Mariam Khilji, Georgetown University, DC
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Human Development: The Unallocated Natural Resources in our Muslim World”
Sherif Mansour, Ibn Khaldun Center, Egypt
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“A Politic of Partnership: NGO-State Relations in Morocco”
Nicole S. Bennett, Fulbright Scholar, Morocco
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Session 3: “Open Forum: Voices of Muslim Democrats: Political Reform in the Muslim World”
Chair: Asma Afsaruddin
[Bio]

Merve Kavakci: Turkey
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Amina Rasul-Bernardo: Philippines
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Anara Tabyshalieva: Kyrgyzstan
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Saurjan T. Yakupov: Uzbekistan
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Mahmoud Rashdan: Jordan
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Muhammad Al-Habash: Syria
[Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Session 4: The Impact of Globalization on Democratization & Development
Chair: Antony Sullivan
[Bio]

“Prospects for an American Muslim Polity: Implications for Muslim World Democratization”
Mohamed Nimer, Council of American-Islamic Relations, DC
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Islam, Development and Reform in the Arab World”
Tarik M. Yousef, Georgetown University, DC
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Globalization’s Impact on Development and Democracy in Pakistan”
Ahsan Iqbal, former Minister for Economic Planning, Pakistan
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Session 5: Women and Political-Economic Development
Chair: Asma Barlas
[Bio]

“Rape Law in Islamic Societies: Theory, Application, and Potential for Reform”
Julie Norman, American University, DC
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“The Impact of the Hijab on the Political Participation of Muslim Women: Defining Identity and Creating Space in the Public Sphere”
Saeed A. Khan, Wayne State University, MI
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“More than Clothing: Veiling as a Cultural, Social, Political and Ideological Symbol in our Changing Society”
Serap Kantarci, Tufts University, MA
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Back to Basics? Reading, Writing, and Religious Extremism in the Lives of Egyptian Women” Mary Knight, New York University, NY
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Session 6: Barriers to Development
Chair: Joseph Montville
[Bio]

“The Path toward Democratization: What is the Real Impediment”
Feriha Perekli, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Political, Economic and Cultural Barriers to Development in the Islamic World”
Adib F. Farha, Lebanese American University
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“The Oil Peril to Democracy and Development in Muslim Nations”
Gordon O. F. Johnson, Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, MI
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Barriers to Development: How to Address Corruption and Oppression in the Arab World”
Hassan Qazwini, Islamic Center of America, MI
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

Session 7: Identifying Conceptual and Economic Pre-Requisites for Democratization in the Muslim World
Chair: Najib Ghadbian
[Bio]

“Promoting Democracy in the Muslim world: From Theory to Practice”
Farid Senzai, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, MI
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

“Democracy with an Adjective: Liberal Democracy in a Muslim Society”
Bican Shahin, Hacettepe University, Turkey
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)]

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Adib F. Farha (Lebanese American University, Lebanon): “Political, Economic and Cultural Barriers to Development in the Islamic World”
Development in the Muslim world is slower than it is in the rest of the world despite an abundance of natural resources in many Muslim nations. Certain changes are imminent to expedite development and growth on one hand, and to curb the rise of extremism on the other hand. The agenda for required change includes cultural, educational, geo-political, and economic aspects. On the cultural level, Muslims need to reclaim their faith from extremists who have hijacked it. While it is not the business of non-Muslims to meddle in this process, it is incumbent upon Muslims to take ownership of these reforms and to proceed without undue delay. On the educational level, efforts are needed to promote literacy, support vocational and technical training, and to bridge the wide digital divide that separates Muslim societies from the developed world. On the geo-political level, regional conflicts need resolution. These conflicts have hindered social and economic developments and derailed national efforts in Muslim countries away from promoting the much-needed growth to security-related endeavors and corollary spending. Reform policies would achieve optimal results and growth can be realized only if the lack of security from which we have suffered for decades is removed. On the economic front, needed reforms include developing financial sector institutions; reducing bureaucracy and the cost of doing business; upgrading human capital through better education; helping small and medium enterprises on issues related to financing, marketing and management, as well as designing entry and exit strategies; and taking focused measures to alleviate poverty.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Ahsan Iqbal (Former Minister for Economic Planning, Pakistan): “Globalization’s Impact on Development and Democracy in Pakistan”
This paper examines the impact of globalization on development and democratization for developing countries, in general, and Pakistan, in particular, which is located at an important geo-strategic fault line and whose politics and economy impacts South Asia, Central Asia, and Middle East Regions, in the context of South Asia and East Asia Regions. It examines why Pakistan which was a leading emerging economy in 60’s failed to embrace winds of globalization like other East Asian countries. It looks at the challenges and changes Pakistan, with a population of 145 million the world’s second biggest Muslim country, faces to move forward as a developed and democratic country amidst the new Knowledge Revolution.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Bican Shahin (Hacettepe University, Turkey): “Democracy wƒ±th an Adjective: Libral Democracy in a Muslim Society”
In this paper, I will approach the relationship between Islam and democracy from the angle of democracy. In so doing, I am going to argue that in order for democracy to be viable in a Muslim society, it has to be a “liberal” one. In a liberal democracy, the role of the state is limited to provide citizens with a legal framework within which they can pursue their personal dreams freely. Thus, the rules of the legal framework do not consist of any comprehensive moral view. In this respect, liberal democracy provides a framework within which different moral views can coexist peacefully. Islam is also a comprehensive moral view. It is a body of rules which prescribes individuals about how to order their lives so as to qualify as faithful and deserve eternal happiness. As a comprehensive moral view, Islam is justified to demand obedience from its believers. Since the rules of a political system are binding for everybody, and if they are founded upon Islam, then, this demands obedience from both believers and non-believers. However, demanding obedience from a non-believer is unjust. Yet, to the extent that there is no forced convergence in Islam, it is a tolerant religion toward non-Muslims. Therefore, so long as it is not imposed upon others, and remains only one of the different moral views in the private realm, it can tolerate other comprehensive moral views and be compatible with a liberal democratic system. On the other hand, if democracy demands things from citizens that are against their moral views, then, not only Islam, but also other moral views that are jeopardized by the demands of the system, will clash with the political system.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Farid Senzai (Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, MI): “Promoting Democracy in the Muslim world: From Theory to Practice”
As enthusiasm builds for the promotion of civil society and democracy in countries that were once identified as poor candidates for democratic institutions, western countries are presented with an important question: “Can civil society be exported to less developed countries that do not share a western liberal tradition?” Western governments, international foundations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have provided significant funding for the purpose of “building civil society,” with the assumption that their effort will speed up the democratization process in the Middle East. What impact does external aid have on domestic civic development and, in a related question, how is the impact different when aid comes from a domestic source? Are western efforts helpful, harmful or irrelevant to the democratic transition process in the Middle East? It seems that the theories of democracy outlined by political scientists in the classroom are very different when compared to the democracy promoted by practitioners on the ground. While funding for civil society has clearly had tremendous influence, the emerging trends, however, do not appear to be what western donors had hoped for originally. By using human rights organizations as a prism of the NGO sector, my initial research findings indicate that the organizational activities, structure, and goals of groups that receive foreign assistance differ substantially from those which rely primarily on domestic funding. It appears that foreign aid designed to facilitate the growth of civil society has had the opposite effect. By focusing on human rights groups in contemporary Egypt, this work hopes to illuminate much broader questions about the field of democratization and development.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Feriha Perekli (Indiana University, IN): “The Path toward Democratization:
What is the Real Impediment?”

Political scientists who focus on regime change and democratization diverge on the two main theoretical divisions: “structural” or “agency” explanations. In the past three decades, democracy has expanded extensively in every part of the world, but it is in the regions of the Middle East and North Africa, however, that democracy has failed to develop. This situation resulted in the formation of the idea that the lack of freedom and democratic openings in Middle Eastern countries is somehow rooted in Islam. Is it the structure (Islam) or the agencies responsible for the failure of democracy in the Middle East? Throughout the paper, after an analysis of the ambiguous meaning of democracy, the notions of ijtihad, ijma, shura, sovereignty, freedom, and plurality in Islam will be examined from the liberal Islamist perspective. In the second part of the paper, the “agency” aspect of the democratization literature, the existence of the person-centered politics, the existing authoritarian elites’ choices, preferences, and policies will be depicted as the major impediment for the realization of the political liberalization and full-fledged democratization in the region. As the overlap between such universal ideals of democracy as popular participation, contestation, equality, popular sovereignty, and freedom are displayed, the main goal of the paper will focus primarily on the usage of “contextual” democracy. However, this does not mean that the “unique” or “exceptionalist” version of Middle Eastern democracy, which signifies the combination of universal values and contextual situation (e.g., political culture, economic, etc.) of the region, will enable us to “travel” the concept of democracy in the Middle East and engage in comparisons as well.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Gordon O. F. Johnson (Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, MI): “The Oil Peril to Democracy and Development in Muslim Nations”
A successful democracy must ensure that the nation’s rulers are accountable equally to all the citizens for the actions they take in the name of the people. Where accountability to all the citizens is lacking, the people suffer, the rich become richer, ruling elites become entrenched, democracy erodes and tyrants flourish. Democracies work best when income from the citizens keeps rulers accountable to the citizens. When the government has an independent source of income from exports of government-owned natural resources, economic development and diversification are adversely impacted and rulers are freed from accountability to anyone other than themselves – characteristics often referred to as the “Dutch Disease” and the “Natural Resource Curse.” Among Muslim nations, substantial oil revenues already in the hands of autocratic governments may be the greatest single threat to a successful transition to democracy. Oil revenues controlled by one elite group can finance police, armies, armaments, prisons and massive spy networks to repress other groups. Ordinary people who live with fear will vote for what harms them least. Oil wealth can be used to undermine property rights and rule of law, corrupt the judiciary, manipulate schools and destroy a free press. Grand infrastructure projects can be managed to favor supporters and discriminate against non-supporters. Oil revenue power can also extend across national borders to influence non-oil countries through supply of low-priced oil, anti-democratic teachers and religious leaders, and through support for terrorist charities. In this way, anti-democratic oil-rich Muslim nations could threaten democracy supporters in other Muslim nations where democracy may have begun to take root. This paper will analyze oil revenues within Muslim nations and the extent to which these oil revenues are a special barrier to democracy and development. It will also offer some guiding principles that could minimize the oil peril.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Hassan Qazwini (Islamic Center of America, MI): “Barriers to Development: How to Address Corruption and Oppression in the Arab World”
Justice forms the foundation of all human societies. This emphasis is particularly pivotal in divine religions, including Islam. This central and irreplaceable theme is continuously highlighted in the Qur’an and is an undeniable tenet mandated by this faith. However, today’s Arab governments, overridden with corruption and oppressive tendencies, have no room for such an uncompromising principle. A campaign to correct a history of corruption must begin with the following five essential movements: (1) Promoting political awareness among the masses: This is realized by propagating the culture of democracy and eliminating illiteracy; (2) Fighting poverty and strengthening a weak economy: This is realized when people are able to meet their basic needs, as this will allow them to work toward higher causes; (3) Liberating the religious establishment from the influence of dictatorial governments: By allowing religious authorities to function outside of the government’s realm, religious objectivity will prevail and societal and governmental deficiencies can be recognized; (4)Honoring the role of women in the Arab world: Democracy has absolutely no foundation to build upon when half of the society is denied such fundamental rights as voting and holding parliamentary positions; and (5)Promoting democracy: Stressing democratic principles of Islamic doctrine must be the tool through which the trend of oppressive monarchal and dictatorial regimes that have plagued the history of Muslim states can be reversed.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Imad ad-Dean Ahmad (Minaret of Freedom Institute, MD): “Reconciling Secular Government with Islamic Law”
We address the question: “In what way, or to what degree, if any, is secularism a pre-condition for political development in the democratic mode, or can religious values and practices be accommodated?” We compare the French and American models of secularism and argue that while the former is incompatible with Islamic law, the latter is conformable to it when understood in the manner interpreted by de-Tocqueville. Secularism is compatible with Islamic law only if it is understood as a separation of authority between the rulers (or executive authority of government) and the religious establishment (the “Church”). It is incompatible with Islamic law when interpreted as a prohibition of religious ethics, identity, or sentiment in the public sphere. We explore specifically how classical Islamic civilization harmonized with or differed from the American model and propose a new model, grounded in Islamic values, that borrows heavily from successful aspects of the American experiment. We argue that the free exercise of religion is inherently part of Islamic law, and that while Islamic law does not prohibit the establishment of religion, neither does it prohibit its disestablishment. Both the British model (in which there is a state religion) and the American model (in which there is not) are compatible with Islamic law. We present historical and theoretical arguments that the American model is more protective than the British model of both the polity and religion, and the most compatible with the defense of minority rights, and that Muslim scholars should now consider its merits in an Islamic context. Finally, we outline a vision of Islamic pluralism, cognizant, yet critical, of the neo-orientalist critique of the dhimma. We contend that difficulties of dhimmi status in Muslim history arise from human choices in a political and cultural context rather than from the Qur’anic mandate. We conclude that Islamic pluralism, based in the belief that tolerance is an absolute divine mandate, offers a stronger foundation from which minorities may appeal to the majority for the defense of their rights than do relativistic conceptions of secular tolerance that are, by definition, dependent on the whims of the majority.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Julie Norman (American University, DC): “Rape Law in Islamic Societies: Theory, Application, and the Potential for Reform”
Sexual violence against women exists in almost all regions and societies, often with few opportunities or institutions available for victims to seek justice. This problem is further exacerbated in some predominantly Muslim societies, in which certain interpretations of Islamic law, in conjunction with cultural attitudes toward rape, can result not only in the lack of justice, but in the actual punishment of the victim. Yet, many progressive Muslim scholars suggest that such policies and attitudes contradict the original spirit of Islam, noting how legal and cultural norms related to rape vary between different Muslim societies and have changed with different time periods. Thus, to understand both the punishments and protections assigned to rape offenders and victims today, and to consider possible reforms for the future, it is imperative to understand the evolution of responses to rape in Islamic law and cultural history. This paper, therefore, explores the development of rape law in Islam through the context of shari’ah, beginning with a critical examination of references to rape in the Qur’an, Sunnah, and Hadith. I then investigate how rape was addressed in the different schools of Islamic law, particularly in Maliki and Hanafi fiqh. Then I discuss the application of such law in Muslim societies, using Pakistan’s Zina Ordinance as a case study, while also examining the interwoven element of cultural norms with legal decisions in countries such as Egypt. Therefore, I conclude that justice in rape cases is dependent not on the secularization of Islamic law, but rather on legal reforms and the reframing of cultural traditions through a reformist approach to Islam that reflects the Islamic ideals of justice, honor, and dignity within a modern context.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Mary Knight (New York University, NY): “Back to Basics? Reading, Writing, and Religious Extremism in the Lives of Egyptian Women”
The frequent focus, especially by the media in the West, on the hijab and other externals as markers of Islamic fundamentalism tends to divert attention from the real fundamentals – the Qur’an and Hadith – that address issues of women’s rights outside the home, in particular those rights having to do with work. This paper will briefly overview the most pertinent of these Islamic fundamentals, before turning to how they are received by individual women in Egypt. Although many factors obstruct the rise of women in low-end jobs as well as in professional careers, researchers (including some prominent Egyptian women) often point to extremist interpretations of the Qur’an and the irregular application of a variety of Hadith as the most significant obstacle facing women. For example, some extremist proponents strongly admonish women to remain at home (or be in the house by a certain hour) and, when outside, to cover the entire body including the hands and face. Such practices obviously limit a woman’s capacity to work outside the home. So, “are they really in keeping with tradition?” and “how do Egyptian women react to this advice?” An even more fundamental problem may exist in women’s common inability to apprehend the basic texts of Islam, in part because Arabic language education tends to be poor, especially for girls. Apart from the fact that more women and girls are illiterate, functional illiteracy is also significantly higher among females. A girl who cannot properly understand a text cannot properly challenge it – nor can she read books and pamphlets that address controversies in interpretation. This problem is significant not only for its impact on religion and women, but it is a major obstacle to economic progress and to democratization of the nation as a whole.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Mohamed Nimer (Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR], DC): “Prospects for an American Muslim Polity: Implications for Muslim World Democratization”
The development of Muslim community institutions in the United States can be seen as a test case for the hopes of democratization in the Muslim world. Muslims in the United States have increasingly come together to work for common issues. American Muslims are developing organizations and mechanisms of interaction that hold the potential of carving a Muslim space in American civil society. The evolution of this American Muslim polity faces serious obstacles, but its potential is real. American Muslim communities are more diverse along lines of ethnicity, religion and class than any other Muslim society or minority community in the world. Yet the Muslims of America are joined by shared religious and cultural values, including the experience of discrimination that often prompted feelings of group solidarity. As American Muslims struggle with the demands of collective action, they aspire to make their diverse voices relevant to the larger public discourse in America. This paper looks at how American Muslims have managed their diversity while working for their common interests. This examination assumes that the essence of democratization lies in the successful arbitration of socio-political cleavages. The paper argues that despite the increased participation of American Muslims in the democratic process, there are major unfulfilled requirements for the development of a full-fledged American Muslim polity. Two such conditions are explored: (1) community organizations must become fully institutionalized with transparent administrative and financial accountability processes; and (2) intermediary organizations must be created to mesh the evolving institutional structures of the community.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Nicole S. Bennett (Fulbright Scholar, Morocco): “A Politic of Partnership: NGO-State Relations in Morocco”
Circulaire no. 7/2003 from the office of the Prime Minister of Morocco, addressed to the Minister of the State and the ministers has the following as its subject: “Partnership between the State and Associations.” The first line clarifies the willingness of the government to define “a new policy of partnership,” a phrase which is peppered throughout the development field, but which is rarely examined in context in a way that addresses either the expectations of each “partner,” the realities of task-division and responsibility, or the way in which this relates to the tone of state-society relations in the Arab world. The assumption that a vibrant civil society leads inevitably to democratization and liberalization forms the foundation of foreign policy and development programs throughout the Arab world. Civil Society can only contribute to a nation’s development if it is supported by functional institutions and strong linkages between governmental and non-governmental sectors. This paper examines the assumptions about the role of civil society in the Arab world, and reveals how non-governmental organizations can serve, simultaneously, as an agent of positive change and as a tool whose structure can be subtly manipulated by the reigning powers in order to maintain existing power relations while shifting the costs of development to private actors. NGO-State relations manifest themselves differently in each interaction between an NGO and a public institution. The sum of these exchanges represents a national balance of power and responsibility, complicated by the influence of international organizations. I will attempt to examine the uneasy evolution of this relationship and its impact on development in Morocco from several perspectives, relying on qualitative interviews, on-site observation of joint-run programs through which certain patterns of the government-NGO relationship emerge.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Paul Sullivan (National Defense University, DC): “Barriers to Economic Development in the Arab World”
This paper will first describe and analyze some of the more important barriers to development found in the economics literature, and in the literature on development. It will then look at historical and contemporary evidence regarding economic and human development in the Arab world. From that point it will consider what barriers described in the literature apply to the Arab world, and what new or unique ones need to be considered in the Arab context. It is clear that the Arab world could be doing a lot better than it is. The major question to ask is: “Why is it not reaching its potential?” To understand this, it is not only important to look at the entire region, but also to look at specific countries within their own contexts. Those countries and areas to be considered will be Egypt, Algeria, Libya, the Palestinian territories and Saudi Arabia. Possible policy changes and other changes needed to be considered will then be presented. These policy changes and other changes will be considered in an holistic framework that will include political, diplomatic, social and economic issues.
[All opinions expressed in this abstract are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent those of National Defense University, or any Department of the U.S. government].
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Robert F. Shedinger (Luther College, IA): “Islam, Development, and the Social Construction of Religion”
In his seminal treatise on Islamic government, the Ayatollah Khomeini exhorts his fellow scholars to “pray as much as you like; it is your oil they are after – why should they worry about your prayers?” More recently, the South African Muslim Farid Esack has criticized the rhetoric that stemmed from the South African government during the period of apartheid emphasizing that because Muslims enjoyed religious freedom, there was no need for them to engage in the struggle against the oppressive system. While the progressive South African Esack and the revivalist Iranian Khomeini would seem to have little in common, it is clear that they both recognize the oppressive potential inherent in the social construction of religion. Recent work in the field of religious studies has begun to explore the idea that the generic concept “religion” is best understood not as a term describing something that exists in the world, but as a rhetorical term used by societies in part to marginalize those cultural traditions that are most apt to threaten the political and economic status quo, and those who most benefit from it. Then, it is the purpose of this paper to raise the question: “What might be the consequences for the political and economic development of the Islamic world if we uncritically construct Islam as religion in the way that has become normative in the West?” Imposing the western sacred/profane dualism on the Islamic world may affect development by either fomenting the dualistic tendencies of Islamic revivalists, or by marginalizing Islam to the realm of the sacred. Any discussion of issues of development in the Islamic world will need to consider critically the potential economic and political consequences of constructing Islam as religion, and if it even makes sense to do so at all.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Robin Bush (The Asia Foundation, Indonesia): “Islam and Civil Society in Indonesia”
Transcending the stereotyping of the classical Orientalists and the polemic of militant ideologues, a new generation of thoughtful Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have found many points of synchronicity between Islamic and democratic worldviews. While these intellectual developments are welcome, they remain largely limited to an academic sphere. There is little discussion of practical application of these ideas and little elaboration of what a present-day Muslim civil society looks like in concrete terms. An important exception to this can be found in Indonesia. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, and the world’s third largest democracy. Indonesia is an oft-overlooked, yet rich reservoir of Islam-based articulations of civil society, human rights, and pluralism. Further, Muslim activists and leaders have been at the forefront of the transition to, and consolidation of democracy in Indonesia. Some of these contributions include the following:Democratic Elections: the nation’s largest voter education and elections-monitoring network, the JPPR (People’s Voter Education Network) consisted of over 30 Muslim NGOs and mass-based organizations, and monitored three elections in Indonesia in 2004. Policy Advocacy: Muslim mass-based NGO Lakpesdam NU mobilizes villagers and empowers them to represent themselves in local governance and policy making.Pluralism: A network of Muslim organizations, JPS, successfully launched a campaign against a bill proposed by the Ministry of Religion that would have severely inhibited interfaith relations and minority rights in Indonesia. Gender: Woman “preachers” (muballighot) teach village women about principles of gender equity and civil society in their weekly “sermons”; Muslim women’s group Fatayat NU has developed a manual on domestic violence advocacy from a Muslim perspective. As Director of The Asia Foundation’s Islam and Civil Society program, which began in 1997, I will provide both an academic and a practitioner’s perspective on the relationship between Islam and development in Indonesia.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Saeed A. Khan (Wayne State University, MI): “The Impact of the Hijab on the Political Participation of Muslim Women: Defining Identity and Creating Space in the Public Sphere”
The recent emergence of popularity of the hijab among Muslim women is a phenomenon that cannot be adequately attributed to an aggregate rise in religious awareness. The rhetoric of contemporary hijab discourse implies that several socio-cultural and political currents have contributed to the “rediscovery” of the scarf. This paper seeks to analyze the non-theological variables that affect a Muslim woman’s decision to cover or not. Attention shall be paid to the veil discourse in different regions of the Islamic world, examining the variations from one area to the other. In addition, attention shall be paid to how discourse on gender has been influenced by socio-economic conditions, class structure and especially, political forces. The discourse on the veil varies, sometimes dramatically, depending on temporal and spatial considerations. The rationale to use the veil may differ in one part of the Islamic world as opposed to a different region or a different period of a community’s development. Despite unique and specific circumstances affecting the direction of veil discourse in a particular place, there are some factors that appear common to all aspects of the Muslim community worldwide: a desire by Muslim women to define their own identity and create space for themselves in the public arena. The conscious choice to create such a separate and distinct identity may be termed, “voluntary otherness.” This paper shall examine the phenomenon of “hijab revival” as it pertains to the engagement by Muslim women in the political arena – one of the most pronounced sectors of the public sphere. It will also identify how the hijabhas created a specific niche for these women in that sphere. The level of women’s political activity and participation is a function of how much space is afforded women by society and how much space women create for themselves.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Serap Kantarci (Tufts University, MA): “More than Clothing: Veiling as a Cultural, Social, Political and Ideological Symbol in our Changing Society”
This paper will examine the religious, social, cultural and political forces that encourage Muslim women to veil, especially the schoolgirls who lost their freedom of veiling at public schools in France, Germany and Turkey. Moreover, it will analyze various arguments surrounding the headscarf policy in a comparative manner, and offer insights on the following questions: “Is the Muslim Headscarf a threat to democracy, civic unity and secularism?” “Does the headscarf-ban limit women’s freedom of choice, and violate their human rights, including their educational and employment rights?” “Who are the opponents and defenders of the veiling?” “Why has the headscarf affair generated a storm of controversy in France, Germany and Turkey?” “Why now, but not before?” “Is the wearing of the Muslim headscarf a political and ideological symbol?” “Is it a sign from ideological fundamentalists that reflects Muslim women’s intentions to introduce the Islamic legal code, Shari’ah?” “Does abolishing the headscarf in public schools underscore intolerance of cultural diversity and cultural identity?” This paper seeks answers to these broad political and legal questions by examining the current laws and regulations pertaining to banning the wearing of the Muslim headscarf in public schools. The paper explores the headscarf policies in a comparative perspective.
[Abstract] [Bio] [Final Paper (PDF)] [Back to top]

Shadi A. Hamid (Fulbright Fellow: Amman, Jordan): “Is Secularism a Prerequisite or a Result of Democracy? Islamists at the End of History”
Contrary to what culturalists such as Abdou Filali-Ansary and Bernard Lewis suggest, secularism is not a prerequisite to democratic governance. Rather, it is democratization which will inevitably lead to the relative secularization of political space. The ideological and political evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan over the last 15 years lends credence to this claim. Since the resumption of parliamentary life in 1989, Islamists in Jordan have moderated their rhetoric over time de-emphasizing such divisive wedge issues as sex segregation, and the banning of alcohol while refocusing their efforts, in recent years, on democratic reform and the expansion of political space. More often than might be expected, the literature of the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Islamic Action Front, sounds like something out of Rousseau’s Social Contract. Changes in the thought and practice of Jordan’s Islamists, especially with regards to democracy, human rights, and the role of women, are a direct result of being included within the democratic process. It may be premature to declare that we have, indeed, reached “the end of history.” Nevertheless, it is clear that we are witnessing decisive developments in Islamic political thought. Mainstream Islamists no longer present a comprehensive alternative discourse to “liberal democracy.” In effect, liberal democracy has absorbed Islamist thought, proving the ideological power of the democratic ideal. Islamist parties, as we now see in Turkey, may provide less corrupt, more efficient governance than their secular counterparts but, in the end, they work within, and have accepted to a certain extent, the basic premise of the liberal, democratic framework posited by western nations.
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Sherif Mansour (Ibn Khaldun Center, Egypt): “Human Development: The Unallocated Natural Recourses in our Muslim World”
Some Arab leaders continuously attribute current economic failure to an increasing rate of population. Their erroneous assumptions are based on calculating the nominal per capita income derived from dividing Gross National Product (GNP) over population. Such leaders turn a blind eye to several successful experiences that contradict their assumption – such as the Japanese model. Although Japan lacks natural resources, it is continuously faced with such natural disasters as earthquakes and frequent volcanoes. In addition, Japan is faced with a high population growth rate equaling 200 million citizens given its small territory. But it was able to positively utilize such growth and emerge as one of the most developed countries. This paper will attempt to show that the human resource is the most valuable natural resource provided by God. This is demonstrated by: (1) offering practical examples and statistics that present the current situation employing a representative sample of several continents, including Islamic and non-Islamic countries; (2) demonstrating that proper utilization of natural resources, human and material, effectively, is what is important; (3) presenting relevant environmental factors that contribute to an effective utilization of human development such as freedom, participation, creative education and free media; (4) providing an overview of political, social, religious and economic obstacles to human development in Arab and Muslim countries; (5) presenting religious text and events that refute such arguments; (6) illustrating recent historical experiences of successful human development that have had a positive effect on Arab countries; and (7) presenting recommendations comprising of traditional and modern solutions that may be applied in our Arab Muslim countries.
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Sofia Mariam Khilji (Georgetown University, DC): “Military Expenditure and Economic Development: A Comparative Study”
In the context of understanding the economic effects of defense spending on long-term economic growth rates, what has been the experience in the Middle East? What conclusions can be drawn? This paper attempts to evaluate, based on a review of the empirical literature on defense expenditure and growth in developing countries, the significance of military outlays in explaining growth. It undertakes a comparative case study between major countries in the region (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan) to shed light on this relationship. Since Emile Benoit’s seminal work (1973), the economic impact of military expenditures in less developed countries (LDCs) has been the subject of extensive empirical investigation. Government provision of national defense, a public good, can contribute positively to citizens retaining property rights and having incentives to accumulate capital and produce. This is one way military spending can foster economic growth. However, to the extent that military spending unnecessarily diverts resources that could be more productively employed in other sectors of the economy, the rate of long-term economic growth will be less relative to what it would be without significant military outlays. The net effect that military spending has on economic growth is, therefore, ambiguous. As sample studies for the region, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Syria and Jordan emerge as roughly similar in many respects: geo-strategic location, regional and internal tensions, pro-forma democracies and strong military establishments. Military expenditure dominates the government’s budget and the quality of life indicators are low on a global scale. Paradoxically, Jordan spends the largest share of its government budget on defense among its neighbors, and all else remaining the same, it manages to spend proportionately more on public education and enjoy a higher human development index. Since empirical studies are omitting important qualitative factors when analyzing the relationship between expenditure and development, this paper will bridge that gap.
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Tarik M. Yousef (Georgetown University, DC): “Islam, Development and Reform in the Arab World”
The September 11 terrorist attacks ignited global interest in the Arab world. Observers in the region and abroad were quick to highlight the development “deficits” in Arab societies which have been linked to everything from structural economic imbalances to deficient political systems, and even culture and religion. This paper reviews the development history of the Arab countries in the post-World War II era, providing a framework for understanding past outcomes, current challenges and the potential for economic and political reform. The paper argues that past outcomes are the product of historical processes of state, social, and economic formation rather than intrinsic beliefs and norms in Arab-Muslim societies. Accordingly, future reform does not require the remaking of these societies.
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Adib F. Farha [adibfarha@yahoo.com], a Middle East analyst, was the advisor to the Lebanese Minister of Finance for four years, during which time he was a part-time professor (last three years) at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon. Between 2002 – 2004, he served as a member of Lebanon’s National Audio-Visual Media Council (the Lebanese equivalent of the FCC). Adib Farha has lectured at major U.S. academic institutions and such think tanks as Harvard University, M.I.T., Boston University, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Heritage Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center as well as at major international conferences. He is also a commentator and an economic and political analyst, with frequent contributions to Lebanon’s only English-language newspaper, The Daily Star; various Arabic-language newspapers such as An Nahar, As Safir, Al Mustaqbal, Aliwaa and others; and The International Herald Tribune. His articles are often carried by global news agencies. He is a very frequent guest on Lebanese, Arab and international radio and TV channels, including CNN America, CNN International, MSNBC, BBC World, Al Arabia TV, Al Jazeera, ANB, VOA, and Al Hurra. He has also hosted his own TV talk show on the Lebanese NBN TV network during the most recent US presidential elections.
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Ahsan Iqbal [ahsan_iqbal2010@yahoo.com] is currently associated with Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Islamabad, Pakistan, where he teaches strategic management, and business policy and strategy. His previous appointments include Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission (1998-99); Chief Coordinator – Minister of State, Pakistan 2010 Program (1997-99); Chairman, Good Governance Group, Government of Pakistan (1997-99); Chairman, Pakistan Engineering Board, Government of Pakistan (1998-99); and Chairman, National Steering Committees on Information Technology and TQM & Productivity (1998-99). He was elected twice to the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1993 and 1997 on PML-N platform. He earlier served as Policy and Public Affairs Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan (1993). He has also held senior level corporate positions in major public sector corporations of Pakistan. Mr. Iqbal represents the new generation of leaders in the country, which possesses a combination of political, professional, and academic backgrounds. He had initiated and authored Vision 2010 for Pakistan, and was responsible for managing the country’s long-term economic planning as Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission. On his initiative, Pakistan’s first National IT Policy was formulated. His leadership was instrumental in starting several good governance and reform programs in the country through extensive stakeholders’ dialogue and partnership. He introduced “Champions of Reform” program, a first of its kind civil society based socioeconomic participatory development initiative. His areas of interest include business & development economics, leadership, change management, strategic management, good governance, and international affairs. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA (1984-86), B.Sc. (Mechanical Engineering) from the University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan (1976-81), where he was elected president of the Students Union (1980-81). He also attended the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (1989); Oxford University, UK (1992); and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, MA (2004) programs.
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Amina Rasul-Bernardo [aminarasul@yahoo.com] is the lead convenor of the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy. She is a senior research fellow with the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center. She was a member of the Philippine Cabinet under former President Fidel V. Ramos, as presidential advisor on youth affairs. Appointed concurrently as the first chair of the National Youth Commission, she was responsible for organizing the new agency and for the formulation and implementation of the Philippine Medium-Term Youth Development Plan. Ms. Rasul-Bernardo has a distinguished record in the field of business and finance. She was Director of the Philippine National Oil Corporation, the Development Bank of the Philippines, and Founding Director of the Local Government Guarantee Corporation. She has served as an education advisor to the Growth with Equity in Mindanao Program 2, a five-year development-assistance project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She also served as a consultant to the World Bank, Arthur-Andersen – Philippines, ILO, among others. She was the first Filipino invited as senior fellow (2001 – 2002) at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington, DC. She is a founding member of Bantay Dagat (Watch the Seas) Movement, an NGO which supports protection of the seas and coastal resource management. She has been responsible for the production of a 30-minute cartoon designed to teach young people about the symbiosis between the health of the seas and productivity of fish industry. She has served on the board of the National Greening Movement. She is also a founding member of the Muslim Professional and Business Women Association of the Philippines. She has worked to develop mutual-guarantee associations among Muslim and indigenous women to finance cottage enterprises and small businesses. A founding member of the Magbassa Kita Foundation, Ms. Rasul-Bernardo served as the first chief operating officer, responsible for raising $2 million to support the foundation’s literacy program for Muslim and indigenous communities. The recipient of numerous awards for her public service accomplishments and peace-building efforts, she earned a Masters degree in business management from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines and a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
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Anara Tabyshalieva [anara1209@hotmail.com], a Kyrgyz native is a specialist on issues of conflict prevention and religious problems in Central Asia. She worked for the Institute for Regional Studies, one of the foremost NGOs in Kyrgyzstan, and managed projects on political and social developments in Central Asia. She was a senior fellow of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Currently she is involved in the project on religious and ethnic tolerance in Central Asia supported by USIP. Her research on the status of women in Central Asia was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In addition to thirty articles and numerous reports, she has written books on religion, democratization and gender issues in Central Asia. Among her recently published articles are “Civil Society and Democracy Ideologies,” “Central Asia and the Caucasus,” “Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures,” Family, Law and Politics,” (Vol.2, Brill: Leiden-Boston, 2005); “Conflict Prevention Agenda in Central Asia” (Albrecht Schnabel and David Carment eds., “Conflict Prevention from Rhetoric to Practice,” (Vol. 1 Organizations and institutions, Lanham: Lexington Book, 2004); and “Political Islam in Kyrgyzstan” (OSCE Yearbook, 2002, Institute for Peace and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg: Baden-Baden, 2003). Anara is a co-editor of two books: Volume VI of History of Civilizations of Central Asia, 1850-1991 (UNESCO, Paris), and Challenges of Rebuilding Post-Conflict Societies and the Need for Woman and Child-Sensitive Peacebuilding Policies/Approaches (UN University, Tokyo).
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Andrew S. Natsios [www.usaid.gov] was sworn in on May 1, 2001, as administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the government agency that administers economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide. President Bush also appointed him special coordinator for International Disaster Assistance and special humanitarian coordinator for the Sudan. Natsios has served previously at USAID, first as director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance from 1989 to 1991 and then as assistant administrator for the Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance (now the Bureau for Humanitarian Response) from 1991 to January 1993. Before assuming his new position, Natsios was chairman and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority from April 2000 to March 2001. Before that, he was secretary for administration and finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from March 1999 to April 2000. From 1993 to 1998, Natsios was vice president of World Vision U.S. He was executive director of the Northeast Public Power Association in Milford, Massachusetts from 1987 to 1989. Natsios served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1975 to 1987 and was named legislator of the year by the Massachusetts Municipal Association (1978), the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (1986), and Citizens for Limited Taxation (1986). He also was chairman of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee for seven years.

Natsios is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where he received a Masters degree in public administration. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Boston College, the University of Massachusetts, and Northeastern University. Natsios is the author of numerous articles on foreign policy and humanitarian emergencies, as well as the author of two books: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1997), and The Great North Korean Famine (United States Institute of Peace, forthcoming). After serving 22 years in the U.S. Army Reserves, Natsios retired in 1995 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He is a veteran of the Gulf War. A native of Holliston, Massachusetts, Natsios and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children, Emily, Alexander, and Philip.
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Anisa Mehdi [anisa@anisamehdi.com] Emmy Award-winning journalist Anisa Mehdi is an internationally renowned expert on covering Islam. She produces and directs critically acclaimed documentaries and is a commentator for National Public Radio. Her commitment to broadening Americans’ understanding of Muslims and the Middle East has led to unprecedented access to people and places around the world. Anisa Mehdi produced and directed the 2003 National Geographic Special, Inside Mecca. She is the first American woman to cover the Hajj for broadcast in the United States, with groundbreaking work in 1998.With over two decades in mainstream American media, Ms. Mehdi has worked for CBS News, ABC News “Nightline,” “Frontline,” and the New Jersey Network. She won the Cine Golden Eagle Award for Muslims, a 2002 “Frontline” special. She excels both on the air and behind-the-scenes. Anisa Mehdi is president of Whetstone Productions, a boutique production and consulting firm based in New Jersey. She is currently developing new documentary film projects and lectures on diversity and Islam and the media to institutions nationwide. Ms. Mehdi has an M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wellesley College. She is a trustee of The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey and of Music for All Seasons. She advises the Fez Festival International.
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Antony T. Sullivan [antony.sullivan@islam-democracy.org] is a distinguished senior scholar who holds an honorary position as an Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan. Before his retirement in 2000, Dr. Sullivan was affiliated for 30 years with Earhart Foundation (Ann Arbor, Michigan), most recently as Director of Program and Corporate Secretary. From 1962-1967 Dr. Sullivan taught at International College (Beirut, Lebanon). Dr. Sullivan received his BA from Yale (1960), his MA from Columbia (1961), and his Ph. D from the University of Michigan (1976) in European history and Middle Eastern Studies. He has written two books and some 80 articles and reviews, and has lectured widely at universities in the United States and abroad. Over the past three decades he has traveled frequently to the Middle East in connection with his professional responsibilities and research interests.
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Anwar Ibrahim, [anwar.ibrahim@sant.ox.ac.uk], 58, former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, started his public career as a student and youth activist in the late 1960s. In his early 20s he led a student protest against the Vietnam War and the government’s neglect of poverty and rural development in Malaysia. After finishing his university education, he started the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM), the first mass-based NGO that raised social and political awareness in Malaysia that emphasized social justice and human rights. Through ABIM and later within his capacity as president of the National Youth Council, Anwar forged solidarity and alliances with the youth of other religious persuasions and ethnic groups to demand that the government address the issue of national unity from the perspective of social justice, empowerment and democracy. He was detained, without a trial in 1971, for two years for supporting peasant protests. After joining the government in 1982 Anwar started numerous initiatives to make the government more tolerant and responsive to dissent and criticism from the opposition and social activists. He reformed the education system from its previous overemphasis on utilitarianism and manpower production to instill greater emphasis on character development and intellectual pursuit. When he was Minister of Finance more emphasis was given to help the poor and to encourage the private sector to integrate their pursuit for profit with social responsibility through financing education, intellectual and cultural activities. It was not infrequent that Anwar departed from the conventional attitude of his colleagues in the government who preferred to indulge in self-congratulations. He insisted that the government be self-critical, and often voiced the need to reform the government and to widen the scope of freedom. He was aware of the decline in key Malaysian institutions including the judiciary and expressed his dissatisfaction in public. Before the onset of the Asian financial crisis in late 1997, Anwar, who was then the deputy prime minister, published his book: The Asian Renaissance, which articulated a vision of Malaysia that significantly departed from the vision of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. In light of the financial crisis, the book was considered as a deconstruction of Mahathir’s Vision 2020. By differing with Mahathir in public on how to deal with the economic crisis, Anwar took an unprecedented move in Malaysian political culture. His criticism of corruption and abuse of power within the government became more explicit and his demand for reform became more vocal. He was sacked in September in 1998 and served six years of imprisonment on trumped-up charges. Until his release in September 2004, Anwar led a new democratic movement in Malaysia from his prison cell and penned several essays articulating his passion for freedom and human dignity.
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Asma Afsaruddin [afsaruddin.1@nd.edu] is associate professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame, IN. Her fields of research are Islamic, political and religious thought, intellectual history, and gender issues. She was recently a visiting scholar at the Centre for Islamic Studies, London School of Oriental and African Studies. She is a member of the advisory board of KARAMAH, a women’s and human rights organization based in Washington, DC., and serves on CSID’s Board of Directors. Her research has won support from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the American Research Institute of Turkey, among others.
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Asma Barlas [barlas@islam-democracy.org] is professor of politics at Ithaca College, New York. She is former chair of the Department of Politics and founding director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity. She has a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy and an M.A in Journalism from Pakistan, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Denver in Colorado.
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Bican Shahin [bican@hacettepe.edu.tr] received his B.Sc. degree in public administration from Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, in 1993. He received his M.A. degree from the same university in 1997. His M.A. thesis title was “The Relations of Aristotle’s Understanding of Justice with Contemporary Views of Justice.” In 1998, he began preparing his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, College Park: He specialized in political theory and comparative politics and wrote a dissertation titled “An Investigation of the Contributions of Plato and Aristotle to the Development of the Concept of Toleration.” He recevied his Ph.D. in 2003. Currently he teaches in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration in Hacettepe University.
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Carl Gershman [carl@ned.org] was appointed president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) by the Endowment’s Board of Directors and assumed his position on April 30, 1984. In that capacity he has presided over the development of the Endowment’s grant programs in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Latin America. Under his leadership, the NED created the quarterlyJournal of Democracy in 1990 and the International Forum for Democratic Studies in 1994 and also launched the World Movement for Democracy in 1999. Mr. Gershman is currently encouraging other democracies to establish their own foundations devoted to the promotion of democratic institutions in the world. Prior to assuming the position with the Endowment, Mr. Gershman was senior counselor to the United States Representative to the United Nations beginning in January 1981. In that capacity, he served as the U.S. Representative to the U.N.’s Third Committee, which deals with human rights issues, and also as Alternate Representative of the U.S. to the U.N. Security Council. While at the U.S. Mission to the U.N., Mr. Gershman also served as lead consultant to the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, and helped draft the final report. Prior to his assignment at the United States Mission to the United Nations, Mr. Gershman was a resident scholar at Freedom House (1980 81) and executive director of Social Democrats, USA (1974 80). Mr. Gershman has lectured extensively and written articles and reviews on foreign policy issues for such publications as Commentary, The New Leader, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator, The New York Times Magazine, Midstream, The Washington Quarterly and the Journal of Democracy. He is the co editor of Israel, the Arabs and the Middle East (Bantam, 1972) and the author of The Foreign Policy of American Labor (Sage, 1975). He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Council on Foreign Relations. He received a B.A. degree from Yale University (Magna Cum Laude) in 1965 and M. Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1968. He received the following awards: The Order of the Knight=s Cross, Government of Poland; President’s Medal, George Washington University, Washington, DC; The Distinguished Person for Advancing Democracy in China, Chinese Education Democracy Foundation and Romania’s National Order of Afaithful service@ in the rank of Commander. Mr. Gershman was born in New York City on July 20, 1943. He is married to Laurie Pfeffer. They have three children (Sarah, Joseph and Jacob).
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Farid Senzai [fdsenzai@hotmail.com] is a fellow and the director of research at Michigan’s Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU). Prior to joining ISPU, Mr. Senzai was a research associate at the Brookings Institution where he researched U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East. In addition he was a research analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations where he worked on U.S. relations with the Muslim World. He has also served as a consultant for Oxford Analytica and the World Bank. Mr. Senzai received his M. A degree in international affairs from Columbia University and is completing his Ph.D. in political science at Oxford University, UK.
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Feriha Perekli [fperekli@indiana.edu] is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and cultures with a minor in political science at Indiana University, Feriha Perekli received her B. A. degree (2001) from the Department of International Relations at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. Feriha worked as a trainee in the Strategical Center for the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Turkey where she presented a paper entitled “Turkish-Syrian Relations from 1960s to 1990s.” She completed her M. A. degree (2003) in the Department of International Relations at Galatasaray University in Istanbul, Turkey. The subject of her M. A. thesis was “American Politics towards the Middle East in the 1970s.” She is interested in democracy/democratization and social movement theory literature. Concerning her doctoral dissertation, she will apply these two theoretical approaches to the several empirical case studies in the Middle East and try to test the hypotheses that will be reformulated over the course of her study.
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Gordon O. F. Johnson [gofjohn@comcast.net] is an adjunct scholar at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, MI, and co-founded the Center for Privatization in 1985 to advise the U.S. Agency for International Development on privatization of state enterprises. Mr. Johnson was a co-founder and president, of LogEtronics, Inc., Springfield VA, a photographic equipment manufacturer with customers in 90 countries, subsidiaries in Switzerland, Denmark and Australia, and licensees in Japan and the Netherlands. He was an officer of various industry associations, and served on business advisory boards of the U.S. Export Import Bank, the Department of Commerce, the Governor of Virginia, Rochester Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University. Early in his career, working in the Marshall Plan, he helped establish the first overseas U.S. aid missions in Southeast Asia. He attended M.I.T., received his B. A. degree in economics and international relations (with distinction) from Stanford, and his M. B. A. from Harvard University.
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Hassan Qazwini [imamqazwini@icofa.com] was born in the holy city of Karbala, Iraq in 1964. Karbala hosts the sanctified and sublime shrine of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein. Qazwini’s family is well known in Iraq and the Muslim world at large for people of scholarship, leadership and dedication to serving their Muslim community. Qazwini’s father, Ayatollah Sayid Mortadha Al-Qazwini, was among the leading scholars in spreading the word of Islam in Iraq and engaging in Islamic activism. Hassan Qazwini decided to pursue the path of his forefathers and become a scholar of Islam and religious leader. In 1980, Qazwini joined the Islamic Seminary in Qum, Iran, which is the largest Shi’a seminary in the world today, and graduated in 1992 with a fine grasp of the fundamentals of Islamic jurisprudence and Qur’anic commentary. During his studies, he administered a prominent Islamic journal called Annibras, or the Eternal Light. The journal addressed many social, historical and Islamic issues. In addition, he authored two books: Meditation on Sahihain, a critique of Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim; and Prophet Mohammad: The Ethical Prospect. In 1997, he became the religious leader of the Islamic Center of America in Detroit Michigan. In 1998, Qazwini founded the Young Muslim Association (YMA). This organization, affiliated with the Islamic Center of America, is aimed at educating the Muslim American youth, fostering leadership among them, and creating an environment in which they can actively promote Islam and effectively channel their efforts. Having been invited by the White House on several occasions to represent the Muslim community, Qazwini has met with both President Clinton and President Bush to discuss issues pertaining to Muslim affairs. He has also been invited by the State Department and Defense Department for meetings. Qazwini continues to be one of the most outspoken and influential Muslim Shi’a religious leaders in the United States. In addition to appearing on CNN, NPR, BBC, and VOA, many of his commentaries were printed in the New York Times, the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, and a wide range of many other media outlets.
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Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad [ahmad@minaret.org] graduated cum laude from Harvard University and received a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. He is an educator who currently teaches honors courses in “religion and progress” and on “religion, science, and freedom” at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD and on “Islam and Development” at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. He is a frequent guest lecturer on Islam at the Foreign Services Institute and for the U.S. Air Force. He has been active with the International Property Rights Working Group’s effort to restore private property rights and civil society in Iraq and is president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute, an Islamic think tank in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. He is author of Signs in the Heavens, co-editor of Islam and the West: A Dialog, and co-author of Islam and the Discovery of Freedom.
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Joe Montville {montville@islam-democracy.org} is Director of Preventive Diplomacy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC. His expertise is in: Conflict resolution: East Central Europe, the Baltics, the Middle East, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Russia, Canada, and Latin America.
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Julie Norman [julie.norman@american.edu] is a graduate student at American University’s School of International Service, Washington, DC. After completing her undergraduate studies at Duke University, Julie received a Lewis Hine Fellowship to pursue documentary work in Cairo, where she directed the film “Nile Voices” and also worked for a childhood development NGO. She plans to work on a documentary film on women’s issues in Iran this summer. Her current research focuses on human rights, democracy, and nonviolence in the Middle East.
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Louis J. Cantori [cantori@umbc.edu] received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in political science. He studied Islamic philosophy for one year in the Faculty of Theology, al-Azhar University, Egypt. He is the author or editor of four books, including Local Politics and Development in the Middle East. He is the author of over forty articles, including “Modernization and Development” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World and “Civil Society, Liberalism and the Corporatist Alternative in the Middle East,” Middle East Studies Association Bulletin (1997). He is presently co-editing for publication, Muslim Thought in the 20th Century. He has been president of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies. He has held distinguished professorships at the US Military Academy, West Point, the US Air Force Academy and the US Marine Corps University. He is Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the US Department of State. He is Adjunct Professor, US Marine Command and Staff College and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University and Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
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Lorne Craner [lcraner@iri.org] returned to the International Republican Institute (IRI) as president on August 2, 2004, following his unanimous selection by IRI’s Board of Directors. Previously, Craner was Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor for Secretary of State Colin Powell. Among other accomplishments during his three year tenure, he contributed to the conception and implementation of President Bush’s approach to democratization in the Middle East, sharpened the Administration’s focus on human rights in Central Asia, initiated the first U.S. Government programs to advance democracy in China, and helped construct the Millennium Challenge Account’s “good governance” criteria. Upon his departure from the State Department, Secretary Powell presented Craner with the Distinguished Service Award, the Department’s highest honor. From 1995 through 2001, Craner, as the International Republican Institute’s president, led IRI to new levels of programmatic achievement, fundraising, financial accountability and news coverage. He joined IRI as vice president for Programs in 1993. From 1992 through 1993, Craner was Director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council under Brent Scowcroft. From 1989 through 1992, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. Craner was Senator John McCain’s foreign policy advisor from 1986 to 1989, serving concurrently as the Republican staffer on the Senate Central America negotiations observer group. He began his career as the foreign policy advisor to Congressman Jim Kolbe. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Lorne Craner sits on the Board of the National Committee on U.S. China Relations and the Chairman’s Advisory Council of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). He also sits on the Board of Directors of Internews Network, a non-profit organization supporting open media worldwide. Craner has testified on numerous occasions before House and Senate Committees, and his work in and out of government has been covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, NPR, the BBC, and other domestic and foreign media. Craner received his Masters degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and his Bachelors degree from Reed College, Portland, Oregon.
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Mahmoud Rashdan [m_rashdan@hotmail.com] received his B. Sc in 1961 from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and his M. Sc from the same university in 1963. He received his Ph.D. in education and development in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After receiving his Ph.D. Rashdan served as secretary general of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) from 1975 – 1981, Indianapolis, IN. He went back to the Middle East as assistant professor at the University of the United Arab Emirates in Al-Am, Abu Dhabi from 1981 – 1987. Before he taught Islamic education at the International Islamic University in Malaysia from 1990 – 1994, he returned to the United States to serve as chairman of the Department of Education at the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, VA from 1987-1990. After he served as Dean of Education (1994 – 99) and Dean of Student Affairs (1995 – 97) at Zarka Private University in Jordan, he went back to teaching education at Zarka Private University (1999 – present). In addition to participating in international conferences, Mahmoud Rashdan offered professional consultations in such areas as Islamic education, education and development, comprehensive development, youth and family affairs to many institutions in many countries including: (UNICEF – Jordan), U.S., U.K., Ivory Coast, Senegal. Mali, Egypt, South Africa, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Pakistan , India and others. His research papers (English) include: “Perspectives of A Muslim on Globalization” Georgetown University, Washington D.C, April, 2000; “On Teaching and Teachers: Western and Islamic Perspectives,” University Science-Malaysia, 1992; “An Islamic Concept of knowledge and its Implications to Educationists,” International Islamic University of Malaysia, 1991; “A Model For Planning Development,” Association of Muslim Social Scientists, USA, 1985; and “Social and Political Implications of Theories of Economic Development,” University of Wisconsin, 1984.
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Mary Knight [mk1153@nyu.edu] is currently a visiting scholar at New York University in the Department of Classics. Her previous appointment was at the American University in Cairo (1999-02), during which time she completed a study of the practice of female genital mutilation in antiquity. In 2003 she returned to Egypt, which she first visited as a Fulbright scholar in 1994-95, to investigate youth opinion for an article published in the May 2004 issue of Natural History magazine. This year she will participate (as project historian) in the Cyrenaica Archaeological Project, which is returning to Libya after a hiatus of 23 years.
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Merve Kavakci [mervesk@yahoo.com] is a lecturer on culture and international affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs of George Washington University in D.C. She teaches courses on “Islam-democracy” and “Turkish politics.” She is also a visiting scholar at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian studies. Kavakci, a former member of Turkish Parliament, is one of Turkey’s pioneers in the women’s political movement in the early 1990s. She has held several high level positions including advisor to the Prime Minister and head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Welfare and Virtue parties in Turkey. In 1999, Kavakci ran for Parliament and was elected to the Turkish Grand National Assembly. However, she was precluded from swearing-in due to her headscarf. Kavakci’s main expertise is in the area of democratization of the Muslim society and the role of religion in secular Muslim states. She has authored numerous articles, the most recent one appearing in Foreign Policy “Headscarf Heresy.” Also her first book, Basortusuz Demokrasi (Scarf-less Democracy) (Istanbul: Timas Publications), was published in February 2004.
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Mohamed Nimer [mnimer@cair-net.org] works as a research director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Washington, DC. His research has focused on Muslim politics and development and the American Muslim experience. His work culminated in the publication of his book The North American Muslim Resource Guide: Muslim Community Life in the United States and Canada, by Routledge in 2002. His other publications include “Muslims in American Public Life,” in Yvonne Haddad’s Muslims in the West: from Sojourners to Citizens. Dr. Nimer also wrote reports and other educational material dealing with issues of discrimination and religious accommodation. As background, Mohamed Nimer is an American citizen who was born in the Middle East, attended college in the U.S. and lived in this country since 1983. He earned his doctoral degree at the University of Utah with a specialization in political science in 1995. He served as a soccer coach in Burke, Virginia, where he resides with his wife and children.
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Muhammad Al-Habash [drhabash@scs-net.org] was born in Damascus, Syria in 1962. He received three B. A. degrees: Islamic law from Damascus University; Arabic literature from Beirut University; and Islamic studies from Islamic Call College. He earned the High License in memorizing the Holy Qur’an and mastering its reading. He received his M. A. degree in Islamic studies from the University of Higher Studies, Karachi and his Ph. D. in the sciences of the Qur’an from the University of the Holy Qur’an in Khartoum. He has been a professor of the sciences of the Holy Qur’an in the Islamic Call College since 1988 and professor of “Tafsir” in the College of Usul Ed-din since 1992. Al-Habash has served as secretary of the Center of Introducing Islam and Arabic Civilization. In addition to teaching, he has lectured at the University of Damascus in 1992; served as director of both the Institutes of the Holy Qur’an in Syria since 1989; as well as the Islamic Studies Center in Damascus since 1987. He is also a member of Syrian Parliament and a member of the Administrative Committee in the Syrian Parliament. In addition to representing Syria in approximately 57 international conferences, he has participated in more than twenty TV and radio programs. He has written hundreds of articles which have been published in more than 25 Arab and international newspapers and magazines. The following are among his published books: Reliable in the rules of jurisprudence; The Qur’an (The Holy book) of Intonation; How to Memorize the Qur’an; Laws of Imagination in the Islamic Jurisprudence; Muslims and the Science of Civilization; The Most Eloquent Examples; Sheikh Ameen Kuftaro; Notebook of the Rhetorical Speech; The Speeches of Friday and the Two Feasts; Longings of Dhagistan; The Islamic Culture; and The Biography of Allah’s Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
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Najib Ghadbian (ghadbian@islam-democracy.org) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas. Ghadbian s book, Democratization and the Islamists Challenge in the Arab World, was published by Westview Press in 1997. A revised and updated Arabic edition was published in Amman and Beirut in 2002. His research focuses on the struggle between ruling elites
[Bio]

Nicole S. Bennett [nicolesbennett@hotmail.com] was a Fulbright scholar to Morocco in 2003-2004. Her research on civil society-governmental relations entitled “A Politic of Partnership” was presented at theUniversit√© Mohammed V and at the Maghrebi Area Studies Conference in Rabat in the spring of 2004. As part of her research project, Nicole conducted an evaluation for USAID and Search for Common Ground, an international NGO specializing in conflict resolution, on a local governance project. She holds a Bachelors degree in international relations from Brown University and studied in Paris at the Sorbonne and at the L’institut d’√©tudes politique de Paris (Sciences-Po). Her undergraduate honor’s thesis entitled “The Diplomatic-Social Partnership: NGO-Government Alliance for Mediation” was recently published by Brown University’s Wayland Press. Nicole currently works for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in the Los Angeles District Office.
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Paul Sullivan (sullivanpj@ndu.edu) has been a professor of economics at the National Defense University (NDU), Washington, DC, since July 1999. He is also the lead of the Energy Industry Study and the North Africa and Levant Regional Security Study. He also teaches a very popular elective course on “The Islamic World” at NDU. He has been an active member of the working groups on Iraq and Libya at the Atlantic Council. For six years previous, he taught and researched at the American University in Cairo. Within the last year he has been interviewed and quoted in numerous magazines, newspapers and websites in the USA, the EU, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He has published on a wide variety of issues related to the politics and economics of the Middle East and North Africa, US-Iranian and US-Arab relations, the Shi’a, the Kurds, and other issues. Last December he gave a series of talks on US-Arab relations during an extensive trip to Egypt. He received his B.A. degree from Brandeis University (Summa Cum Laude, Junior Phi Beta Kappa) and his M.A., M. Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Yale University.
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Radwan A. Masmoudi [masmoudi@islam-democracy.org] is the Founder and President of the Center of the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID), a Washington-based non-profit think tank. He has also been the Editor-in-Chief of the Center’s quarterly publication, Muslim Democrat. Dr Masmoudi has written and published several papers on the subject of democracy, diversity, human rights, and tolerance in Islam. He speaks regularly at conferences on themes related to democracy and democratization in the Arab and Muslim world, and appears frequently on television. In recent years, he has visited, organized events, and/or spoken at major international conferences in Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, Sudan, Nigeria, the Philippines/Mindanao, Germany, South Africa, Lebanon, and Tunisia. Dr. Masmoudi holds a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
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Robert F. Shedinger [shedinro@luther.edu], assistant professor of religion at Luther College in Decorah, IA, received his Ph.D. in religious studies from Temple University in Philadelphia. He holds a M. Div. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. While his main area of expertise is in biblical studies, an area in which he has published widely, he also studied in the area of Islam with Mahmoud Ayoub while at Temple University. He teaches courses on Islam and is faculty advisor to the Muslim Student Association at Luther College. Since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, his interest in Islam in the contemporary world has grown significantly and is becoming a primary area of research interest. In the aftermath of 9/11, he has made numerous presentations on Islam at Luther College, in the Decorah community, and at other locations in the upper Midwest.
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Robin Bush [rbush@tafindo.org] is the director of The Asia Foundation’s Islam and Civil Society (ICS) program in Indonesia. Dr. Bush has lived in Indonesia for almost twenty years, and has worked closely with Muslim groups in Indonesia for the past eight years. Bush completed her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Washington in 2002, writing her dissertation on the politics of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization. The ICS program which Dr. Bush directs works with local Muslim organizations to promote pluralism and tolerance in Indonesia. She is the author of numerous articles on Islam and democracy in Indonesia, including “Islam and Constitutionalism in Indonesia,” in the forthcoming book, Islam and Constitutionalism, from Harvard University Press. She received her B.A. degree in political science from the University of South Carolina; M.A. in international affairs from Ohio University; and her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Washington.
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Robert A. Schadler [schadler@islam-democracy.org] is the President of Educational Enrichments, an information service based in Washington, DC and the president of two small educational and cultural foundations. He has a BSFS degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service where he was a National Merit and GM Scholar. He has an MA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania (and PhD Candidate) where he was an Earhart Fellow. He has taught at Rutgers University and served for ten years as the Managing Editor of The Political Science Reviewer. He was also the editor of The Intercollegiate Review and continues to serve as a contributing editor.
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S. Abdallah Schleifer [sas@aucegypt.edu] is the founder/director of the Adham Center at the American University in Cairo. The Adham Center supports training and research in broadcast journalism; it is well known throughout the region since many of its graduates serve as correspondents, bureau chiefs, producers and editors in the industry and are particularly concentrated in the leading satellite television news channels. Schleifer is also publisher and senior editor of the bi-annual electronic journal Transnational Broadcasting Studies, He was the executive producer of the award winning documentary Control Room. Prior to joining the AUC faculty in 1983 Schleifer served as Middle East producer – reporter for NBC News, based first in Beirut and then in Cairo where he served as NBC News bureau chief for nine years. His first job in journalism and in the Middle East was as managing editor of Jordan’s English-language newspaper The Jerusalem Star/Palestine News in the two years that preceded the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War. His eye witness account of that war, The Fall of Jerusalem was published by Monthly Review Press in the early 70s and in Arabic by Dar al Nahar. It is considered “an underground classic.” After the war, Schleifer became the Middle East correspondent for Jeune Afrique and a special correspondent for The New York Times reporting on the occupation and the rise of the Palestinian fedayeen before joining NBC. He holds an M. A. degree from AUB in political thought and has published frequently on Islamic art, architecture and Sufism as well as Islamic political thought and media studies. In 2002, he was inducted by King Abdallah II as a senior member of Jordan’s Aal al Bayat Institute for Islamic Thought. Schleifer serves on the board of trustees of the Islamic Texts Society (UK) and Fons Vitae Publishers (USA.) He is former chairman of the Foreign Press Association, Cairo, an associate scholar of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (USA) and a member of the board of directors of Cable Network Egypt (CNE).
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Saad Eddin Ibrahim [semibrahim@hotmail.com] is a pro-democracy advocate who is a professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo and chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo. Dr. Ibrahim is presently a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. He is the author of The New Arab Social Order (1980),Arab Society (1990), and Egypt, Islam, and Democracy (2000), and is a regular contributor to a large variety of publications, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and the Arab daily, Al Hayat. He has frequently spoken on a number of major television and radio shows such as the Charlie Rose Show and the Diane Reames Show, and has appeared for interviews on CNN and NBC.
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Saeed A. Khan [sk1967@aol.com] is a research fellow at the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding: a Michigan-based think tank promoting the study and analysis of U.S. social and domestic policy, and by extension, U.S. foreign policy. His areas of study include globalization, genomics and Islamic political thought. Among his publications is: “Orientalism and Western Concepts of Race and Difference in Science,” in Nature’sEncyclopedia of the Human Genome. Mr. Khan holds a B. A. degree in medieval literature from University of Michigan and a Law Degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He is currently a graduate student at Wayne State University pursuing a Masters degree in the Department of Near East Studies.
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Saurjan T. Yakupov [saurjan@indiana.edu] the director of the Sharh va Tavsiya Sociology Center (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) in the meantime is a Fulbright visiting scholar 2004-2005 to Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Saurjan Yakupov is a graduate of Oriental Studies, Tashkent State University, 1978-1984, specializing in Arabic & Islamic Studies. He has worked as a translator (Arabic) in Yemen (1982-1983) and Libya (1985-1987). From 1987-1992 he was affiliated with the Institute of History (Uzbek Academy of Sciences), and from 1997 – 2000 he worked with the Ustoz Foundation in teacher professional development. As a social scientist at the Sharh va Tavsiya Sociology Center(1987-present) he studied matters of poverty, the impact of health reform in Uzbekistan, domestic violence against women in Central Asia. Saurjan Yakupov’s specialties and research interests include ethnic history issues of early medieval Central Asia, and methodology of historical writing in modern Uzbekistan. As a board member of the Central Asian Resource Center (CEU, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, the National Soros Foundations’ joint initiative), he donates his time and efforts toward the development of common educational space in Central Asia.
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Serap Kantarci [serapkantarci@hotmail.com] was born in Konya, Turkey. She got her B. A. degree in international relations and American literature from Bilkent University in 1994. In 1997, she received her Masters degree in public administration from Ankara University Political Science Department (Mulkiye). Between the years of 1994 and 1997 she worked as a political consultant in the Turkish Parliament and served on the International Affairs Committee. She came to Boston in 1998 and received a full scholarship in order to pursue her studies at Suffolk University’s Political Science department. She got her second Master’s degree from Suffolk in 2000. During her studies, Serap worked as a legislative intern at the Massachusetts State Senate. In 2000, Serap began working at Harvard Business School as the executive education program coordinator. In 2001 she received a full scholarship from Northeastern University and began preparing her Ph.D. in law and public policy. Currently, Serap is teaching public policy and sociology courses at Tufts University and Bridgewater State College. In addition, she has been a Turkish instructor at MIT since 2000, teaching language and grammar courses to adult classes in Orhan Gunduz Memorial School at MIT.
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Shadi A. Hamid [sh75@georgetown.edu] is currently a Fulbright fellow in Amman, Jordan, conducting field research on Islamist participation in the democratic process. He was previously a Harold W. Rosenthal Fellow in international relations at the Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, where he worked on Middle East policy. Last year Hamid was also co-founder of Muslims for John Kerry, consulting with the Kerry campaign on issues of importance to the American Muslim community. His articles have appeared in numerous venues both in the U.S. and abroad including, most recently, The Jerusalem Post, The Daily Star, The International Journal of Civil Society Law, The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, and Insight Turkey.
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Sherif Mansour [sherifmnsour@yahoo.com or sherif@eicds.org] is currently the editor of Arabic publications at the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies (IDCS), Cario Egypt. He has served as editor in chief of the Arabic monthly newsletter and Annual Report of Civil Society and Democratization in the Arab World. In addition to editing other ICDS publications, he has conducted research on areas of religious reformation, human rights, democracy and civil society. In 2003, He served as editor-in-chief of Al-Tanweer Magazine (Voice of the Egyptian Enlightenment Association) while working as a freelance journalist at Al Kahera Newspaper (Voice of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture). He has authored numerous research studies, articles and working papers for Egyptian and Arab newspapers and NGO newsletters. In 2004, Mansour was honored by AlKalema Center for Human Rights at its annual celebration of human rights’ defenders and activists. He was in charge of ICDS observation delegation established to monitor the Palestinian presidential elections in January 2005. In 1998, Sherif Mansour participated in local conferences (Ibn Khaldun Center, Alexandria, Bibliotheca) and international seminars (Qatar, Jordan, Egypt): his presentations concentrated on topics associated with democracy, freedom, and political/religious reformation.
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Sofia Mariam Khilji [smk23@georgetown.edu] is a graduating senior from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She will be completing her undergraduate degree in international political economy with a certificate in Arab Studies in May 2005. Her studies include government policy relating to trade, finance, international growth and development, as well as the participation of civil society in these processes and the consequences of income distribution. She has contributed to the Hoya on civil rights and diversity issues and writes on IranianTruth.com about politics and human rights. Most recently she spent a semester studying Arabic and history at the American University in Cairo and has lived and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East. She has experience in foreign policy and media organizations such as Globalsecurity.org, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Meridian International Center, and as an intern for Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) on the House International Affairs committee. She has also done research for Professor Scott Redford on Islamic art and currently works as a research and teaching assistant for Professor Maysam al Faruqi in Islamic thought and practice.
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Tarik M. Yousef [youseft@georgetown.edu] is Shaykh Al-Sabah Chair in Arab Studies at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), Georgetown University, Washington, DC. After receiving his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1997, he worked as an economist in the Middle East and African departments of the IMF until 2000. Dr. Yousef specializes in development economics and economic history with a particular focus on the Middle East. His papers have appeared, among others, in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives and the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. During the academic year 2002-2003, he was on leave at the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank where he completed a report for the 2003 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Dubai: Unlocking the Employment Potential in the Middle East and North Africa: Toward A New Social Contract (World Bank: 2004). At present, Dr. Yousef is a consultant to the Millennium Project at the UN; the Office of the Chief Economist in the Middle East and North Africa of the World Bank; and various US government institutions.
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